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Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes Showing 31-60 of 702

“To live is not to breathe but to act. It is to make use of our organs, our senses, our faculties, of all the parts of ourselves which give us the sentiment of our existence. The man who has lived the most is not he who has counted the most years but he who has most felt life.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile or On Education
“Teach your scholar to observe the phenomena of nature; you will soon rouse his curiosity, but if you would have it grow, do not be in too great a hurry to satisfy this curiosity. Put the problems before him and let him solve them himself. Let him know nothing because you have told him, but because he has learnt it for himself. Let him not be taught science, let him discover it. If ever you substitute authority for reason he will cease to reason; he will be a mere plaything of other people's thoughts.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State "What does it matter to me?" the State may be given up for lost.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“In any case, frequent punishments are a sign of weakness or slackness in the government. There is no man so bad that he cannot be made good for something. No man should be put to death, even as an example, if he can be left to live without danger to society.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“If there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“It is as if my heart and my brain did not belong to the same person. Feelings come quicker than lightning and fill my soul, but they bring me no illumination; they burn me and dazzle me.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
“Love, known to the person by whom it is inspired, becomes more bearable.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
tags: love
“We must powder our wigs; that is why so many poor people have no bread.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“My illusions about the world caused me to think that in order to benefit by my reading I ought to possess all the knowledge the book presupposed. I was very far indeed from imagining that often the author did not possess it himself, but had extracted it from other books, as and when he needed it. This foolish conviction forced me to stop every moment, and to rush incessantly from one book to another; sometimes before coming to the tenth page of the one I was trying to read I should, by this extravagant method, have had to run through whole libraries. Nevertheless I stuck to it so persistently that I wasted infinite time, and my head became so confused that I could hardly see or take in anything.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
“The word ‘slavery’ and ‘right’ are contradictory, they cancel each other out. Whether as between one man and another, or between one man and a whole people, it would always be absurd to say: "I hereby make a covenant with you which is wholly at your expense and wholly to my advantage; I will respect it so long as I please and you shall respect it as long as I wish.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“Hold childhood in reverence, and do not be in any hurry to judge it for good or ill. Leave exceptional cases to show themselves, let their qualities be tested and confirmed, before special methods are adopted. Give nature time to work before you take over her business, lest you interfere with her dealings. You assert that you know the value of time and are afraid to waste it. You fail to perceive that it is a greater waste of time to use it ill than to do nothing, and that a child ill taught is further from virtue than a child who has learnt nothing at all. You are afraid to see him spending his early years doing nothing. What! is it nothing to be happy, nothing to run and jump all day? He will never be so busy again all his life long. Plato, in his Republic, which is considered so stern, teaches the children only through festivals, games, songs, and amusements. It seems as if he had accomplished his purpose when he had taught them to be happy; and Seneca, speaking of the Roman lads in olden days, says, "They were always on their feet, they were never taught anything which kept them sitting." Were they any the worse for it in manhood? Do not be afraid, therefore, of this so-called idleness. What would you think of a man who refused to sleep lest he should waste part of his life? You would say, "He is mad; he is not enjoying his life, he is robbing himself of part of it; to avoid sleep he is hastening his death." Remember that these two cases are alike, and that childhood is the sleep of reason.

The apparent ease with which children learn is their ruin. You fail to see that this very facility proves that they are not learning. Their shining, polished brain reflects, as in a mirror, the things you show them, but nothing sinks in. The child remembers the words and the ideas are reflected back; his hearers understand them, but to him they are meaningless.

Although memory and reason are wholly different faculties, the one does not really develop apart from the other. Before the age of reason the child receives images, not ideas; and there is this difference between them: images are merely the pictures of external objects, while ideas are notions about those objects determined by their relations.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile or On Education
“It is easier to conquer than to administer. With enough leverage, a finger could overturn the world; but to support the world, one must have the shoulders of Hercules.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“Once you teach people to say what they do not understand, it is easy enough to get them to say anything you like.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile or On Education
“In all the ills that befall us, we are more concerned by the intention than the result. A tile that falls off a roof may injure us more seriously, but it will not wound us so deeply as a stone thrown deliberately by a malevolent hand. The blow may miss, but the intention always strikes home.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Reveries of the Solitary Walker
“Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.”
Rousseau
“The extreme inequality of our ways of life, the excess of idleness among some and the excess of toil among others, the ease of stimulating and gratifying our appetites and our senses, the over-elaborate foods of the rich, which inflame and overwhelm them with indigestion, the bad food of the poor, which they often go withotu altogether, so hat they over-eat greedily when they have the opportunity; those late nights, excesses of all kinds, immoderate transports of every passion, fatigue, exhaustion of mind, the innumerable sorrows and anxieties that people in all classes suffer, and by which the human soul is constantly tormented: these are the fatal proofs that most of our ills are of our own making, and that we might have avoided nearly all of them if only we had adhered to the simple, unchanging and solitary way of life that nature ordained for us. ”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
“A born king is a very rare being.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“She was dull, unattractive, couldn't tell the time, count money or tie her own shoe laces... But I loved her”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“The only moral lesson which is suited for a child--the most important lesson for every time of life--is this: 'Never hurt anybody.”
Rousseau, Emile or On Education
“Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.”
Rousseau Jean - Jacques
“In a well governed state, there are few punishments, not because there are many pardons, but because criminals are rare; it is when a state is in decay that the multitude of crimes is a guarantee of impunity.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“أكبر استخفاف بالرب ليس الغفلة عنه، بل التفكير فيه بما لا يليق.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, دين الفطرة
“القمع يريح ضميرنا ويجعلنا نشعر أننا دائماً على حق. يسرّنا أن نفحم أناساً لا يجرؤون على رفع صوتهم !”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, دين الفطرة
“If there were a nation of Gods, it would govern itself democratically. A government so perfect is not suited to men.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“The indolence I love is not that of a lazy fellow who sits with his arms across in total inaction, and thinks no more than he acts, but that of a child which is incessantly in motion doing nothing, and that of a dotard who wanders from his subject. I love to amuse myself with trifles, by beginning a hundred things and never finishing one of them, by going or coming as I take either into my head, by changing my project at every instant, by following a fly through all its windings, in wishing to overturn a rock to see what is under it, by undertaking with ardor the work of ten years, and abandoning it without regret at the end of ten minutes; finally, in musing from morning until night without order or coherence, and in following in everything the caprice of a moment.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions
“I feel an indescribable ecstasy and delirium in melting, as it were, into the system of being, in identifying myself with the whole of nature..”
Jean Jacques Rosseau
“If we assume man has been corrupted by an artificial civilization, what is the natural state? the state of nature from which he has been removed? imagine, wandering up and down the forest without industry, without speech, and without home.”
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques
“To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
“I believed that I was approaching the end of my days without having tasted to the full any of the pleasures for which my heart thirsted...without having ever tasted that passion which, through lack of an object, was always suppressed. ...The impossibility of attaining the real persons precipitated me into the land of chimeras; and seeing nothing that existed worthy of my exalted feelings, I fostered them in an ideal world which my creative imagination soon peopled with beings after my own heart.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions


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The Social Contract The Social Contract
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Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
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The Basic Political Writings The Basic Political Writings
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Confessions Confessions
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